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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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Old 03-28-2005, 11:37 PM
whatdidibuy whatdidibuy is offline
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Location: NC
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 325I
Unhappy Busted 92 325i, disaster or simple who knows?

This might be long but the car is either a disaster or a few turns of the wrench away from running... Please help!

Vehicle 92 bmw 325i 160k MT

Problems Known
No compression on first 3 cylinders

There are no horrific noises when the car cranks no clacking or rapping sounds.

Will not start

Problems Assumed...

When I got under the hood I noticed that the coils were not tight they had some spring to them assuming this is not normal. Assuming a lazy mechaninc didn't bother tightening these after doing the comp test.

Wondering if this is why the car will not fire up at all.

Reason for problems completely guessing though somewhat educated...

No compression in 3 adjacent cylinders, first assumption a blown headgasket at these points? Is this logical?

Maybe a burnt valve but 3 at the same time seems a bit odd?

Possibly bad rings but again 3 at the same time?

Maybe a broken timing chain? Would there be any noises or sounds from this?

Possibly a broken camshaft this is a non vanos and I think one cam does intake one does exhaust so again why only 3 cylinders in trouble here.

As you can see I'm pulling out what little hair I have left trying to diagnose this without pulling the head off if I can help it as the car is in storage and I don't have a full garage of tools to really dig into this. I am in the process of pulling the valve cover off too see if I can see any bent valves, but again lack of tools and one tiny 10mm nut that is stripped to 8mm put that on hold until I get the old gator grip socket or a nut splitter to the storage facility. Will I even be able to see anything with the valve cover off that might give me a clue.

I know enough to know what could be wrong but not enough to piece alll of this together into what is most likely wrong.

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Old 03-06-2008, 10:51 PM
niteridder niteridder is offline
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Location: atlanta, ga
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: yes 97 m3
don't hurt it it will cost you

HI there I've had near 60 different bmw's. That being said it sounds like to me you have covered everything that matters, you said no compression on a few cylinders, that sounds like a broke cam, or 3 broken rocker arms, not that big of a deal, but you might have to pull the head. You might still have a bad head gasket so replace it and the head bolts at the same time, for the best results. These motors are fairly simple, do you have a m20 or m50 and is your's a vanos motor, 92 or later, now that matters. The m20 engine has a belt and the m50 engine has a chain..I still don't think that's your problem...Let me know..Pull the valve cover and spin the motor over and see what happens, but first pull the fuse for the fuel....
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:44 AM
estoril blu estoril blu is offline
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Location: london
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 170
Mein Auto: e36 323 convertable
Looks like that head needs pulling off im afraid sounds like broken cam take off cover first.
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